Dicitur Pars Quattuor
I was assisted in writing this Part Four by a bottle of Leviathan California Red 2017. This is a badass Napa Valley red blend of Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Fine cigar nose. Blackberry jam, black currant, vanilla, spice, oak, honey. Background sweetness. Tight structure. Velvety finish.
“We need political unity! Unity is the one thing that we lack. If we are ever to seize power in this nation and leverage our votes for our own benefit, we MUST unite across different ideologies. We cannot be divided up by gender, and other white supremacist ideals. It seems as if we’re the only people who will not unify for ourselves. It’s as if whiteness unites the European here but blackness [between disaggregated Native Black American ideological and political factions here] divides us. UNITY is how we win [reparations].
Elijah Muhammad was apolitical and never wanted true unity with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who was political – but Malcolm X understood that the power here is in the hands of the politicians and government and that is how he got several pieces of federal legislation passed for us.”
Lord Abba Nyhiem
Let Us Speak on Attacks on “Black Unity.”
#ADOS as a movement was accused of “dividing” something that is not, and never has been together. Or, at least the interpretation of what that “togetherness” means has not been something that has socioeconomically worked for American Freedmen, particularly after 1965. Or haven’t you noticed?
If you haven’t noticed – Notice.
It is time to move beyond the fantasies of romanticized Pan-Africanism and even speaking of Africa as a singular unity, as opposed to a continent with dozens of nations and thousands of ethnicities. Native Black Americans should not be expected to digest or accommodate this. It is always concerning when human beings choose emotional reactionary outrage over what Freedmen actually say.
For example, Morgan State University professor and author Dr. Raymond Winbush was quoted in a May 2019 article in The Final Call newspaper, “#ADOS people are ahistorical. They have no understanding of how the Black Diaspora, throughout the planet, is united. So for them to come in to try and divide Black Americans from Black Jamaicans and Black Brazilians, that stuff is ridiculous.” I say: “Come in to where motherfucker?” OK. “United?” Now, hold it Arthur. Hold It – let us think about Dr. Winbush’s statement for a minute. He may have something here.
Dr. Winbush may be right about Adosian ahistoricality. Could be. Or, could his view come from Pan-African conflationism? How does being historical, or being ahistorical have to do with an economics-based, economics-calculated, economics-corroborated, economics-validated, and economics-confirmed justice claim? How did any of this domestic conversation – end up in Africa?
An understanding of how the Black Diaspora, throughout the planet is united, or even if disunified; has nothing to do with our wholly domestic justice claim. Which is wholly based in American history, American economics, and Native Black American lineage. How did that “Diasporan unity” subject get into this issue? And if we are “unified” – show me where this “unification” is taking place, along with a clear explanation of how that has to do with, or bears upon, this exclusively American reparations issue? Question Mark. Question Mark. Question Mark.
I personally have never thought about Diasporan unity. I think about reparations all the time though. I have been to fourteen countries in Africa. The everyday man on African lands, streets, and villages ain’t thinking about Diasporan unity either. Africans be thinking about Green Cards, gold Mercedes’, and white dispensed association and validation. Money. African men be thinking about white women. They trying to leave Africa. Quick. To get to that prioritization.
Any motherfucker talking about some “Diasporan unity” bullshit needs to walk these Chicago streets for a minute. Chicago. OK? Because on these Chicago streets, with the exception of very far and in-between intersections, African and Caribbean immigrants (about 65,000 just in Chicago) generally don’t fuck with Native Black Americans unless they absolutely have to. They don’t even intra-Diasporally fuck with each other Here. And I’m talking about motherfuckers FROM the African Continent. Motherfuckers FROM the Caribbean. All Right Here. All intentionally walking past another on these Chicago streets. Don’t know each other. And don’t wanna know each other. Come the fuck on Man…
You would think that America would be the best and most neutral ground to effect some degree of operational Pan-Africanism Here. Not even a “goat fry.” That “unity” shit ain’t happening here – and it ain’t happening there – in Africa. It ain’t even happening within the Caribbean on an intra-archipelagan basis. African immigrant restaurant owners don’t even like Native Black Americans eating in their establishments. They want those seats reserved for white patrons and natives from their originating country only. What the fuck is Dr. Winbush talking about?
As of this writing, South African Blacks are trying to kick Nigerian merchants out of their country. Calling them “bloodsuckers” and “foreigners” to further energize the kick. Ahh… Where is this “unity?” Now, this shit is happening in Africa. The place where every other Black motherfucker in the world is supposed to go “Pan” with? Get the fuck outta here with that shit. OH, did I mention, the fourteen heavy inter-tribal conflicts that are going on as of this writing. Right Now. IN Africa? Or how Nigeria as of this writing for over a year, has closed its borders to neighboring Benin, Niger, and Cameroon. This – aiming to stop the “smuggling” of food, which it says undermines local agricultural businesses. Going on – Right Now – IN Africa. I didn’t know we could get protectionism and Pan-Africanism in the same breath.
So, I would like Dr. Winbush to explain to American Freedmen – “how the Black Diaspora, throughout the planet, is united?” Because I don’t see any “unification” going on in Africa, or in these Chicago streets. You Know? Where this claimed “unity” can be seen. There is a slight dilemma here. That aforementioned statement regarding unity was uttered by a Pan-Africanist with a doctoral degree. He wrote a few books. That is not easy to dismiss. OK? An associate of mine whose opinion I really respect, suggested that I fire-up a high-quality blunt, and then think on this. That way, I could see whatever the fuck Dr. Winbush is seeing. I think I’ll do that.
You know – Dr. Winbush is of the same retrograde Pan-African ilk that speaks on various stages around the country, talking “Egypt,” talking “Mansa Musa,” and pouring “libations to the ancestors.” You know – the same African Ju-Ju type ancestors that could not stop us from being captured, could not stop us from being stamped as fucked, could not stop us from being sold away from the motherland, and could not stop us from being placed into that superheated American crucible – that generational state of nearly perpetual pain, servitude, and degradation.
Those ancestors? “Libations?”
I wouldn’t waste one drop from a two-dollar bottle of gin on those motherfuckers.
If we are gonna go around wasting liquor and pouring all those fucking “libations” – let us pour some libations to the white ancestors. Yes – those motherfuckers. They seem to be the most consequential to the direction of our lives from the past four-hundred years and still going strong up to this point. They are more consequential to our positionality than the African Ju-Ju type motherfuckers. They are the ones that have us in a powerful racial circumscription. They are the ones holding all the money. So, maybe if we pour enough “libations” in their direction (don’t use piss) – they may soon loosen up on their racist lockdown of us, and finally blow us Native Black Americans a juicy kiss in the form of reparations.
But. Let us be honest. Where is this so-called unity? By what motherfucking measure? Initial attempts to measure this unity does not verify this statement. My final attempt to measure this unity still did not verify this statement. There are sparsely mixed findings with all Diasporan unity statements. Why? Because all Diasporan unity statements are full of shit. Now check this out: If Native Black Americans cannot find unity with the Diaspora in important areas of actual operational and material substance such as:
- and Security
Then what the fuck are we talking about? I tell all Pan-African motherfuckers that I ain’t doing no fu-fu shit with nobody. OK? Cook your grits at home motherfucker. No more African “cultural sweethearting.” And “kufi-time” is over. Motherfuckers. Don’t show me no fucking cowrie shells. At this point we need to be talking about some business, politics, and economics. Real Shit Man. How about that? I ain’t trying to compare notes on who knows more about Mansa Musa, or trying to be the deepest and quickest sonofabitch on the Kemetic culture game. Fuck that.
How can American descendants of chattel slavery possibly divide anything, at least on a mass level, that is not and never has been together? Or at least, only on levels that are already populated by groups of people that agree with each other?
Pan-African confirmation bias.
Native Black Americans do not seek to stop claims of anyone seeking justice that arrived after 1965. However, that would be a different claim – and none of our business. At the same time, if one’s ancestors were here before 1965 it is more likely that one will descend from formerly enslaved Native Black American people. Even for those who may have “foreign born” African or Caribbean ancestors prior to 1965, it is more likely that intermarriage and/or interfucking with Native Black American people will tie them to American descendants of chattel slavery under Dr. Darity’s fair and logical framework. So, what are we arguing about?
In addition to that, there would be “foreign born” Black descendants of American slavery that could (and should) make a Native Black American reparations claim. Black folks who are descendants of those who escaped slavery to Canada and Northern Mexico via the Underground Railroad as one example. Native Black Americans that long ago immigrated to Africa or elsewhere and their present-day foreign-citizen descendants would be another example. If any population could produce documentation that reveals the proper lineage, they would be eligible recipients. What the fuck is the problem Dr. Winbush?
Aiwuyor mentions Maroon communities and other people who escaped slavery and went elsewhere. The operative word is Escaped – our ancestors in America did not Escape. If the Maroons or others want to make a claim, they may do so on their own. They are free, grown people. Maroon communities such as the Garifuna have made specific reparations claims in collaboration with CARICOM. Without our help. Those arguments of “whataboutism” are more rhetorical tools to generate confusion as opposed to coming to clarity. Those arguments are nonsense.
There are weird accusations being asserted that the #ADOS leaders use the work of deceased Black leaders like Queen Mother Audley Moore and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in their campaigns in order to build trust in the Black community. That they use the works of these Black American ancestors out of context and exclude all references to African roots, African identity, Pan-Africanism, or anything related to global Black movements or Black unity. This is a strange accusation coming from the same people that say in the same breath that the folks involved with the #ADOS political project are ahistorical, and that we have no intellectual standing in any reparations conversation because: “they [#ADOS] don’t know enough.”
That’s what they say. OK.
Let’s Process This:
Somehow, Pure Reparationists “don’t know enough” to assert any intellectual authority regarding the reparations question. OK. But at the same time, they point out that we have somehow “read enough” to have noticeably absorbed and to then manipulate particular works by particular people? Confusing. And after that, we can then somehow “understand enough” (even though we don’t “know enough”) to adeptly decontextualize the most usable sentences and paragraphs from those same folks to improperly and dishonestly twist, redefine, and propagandize those words for our supposedly nefarious goals?
At the same time – we don’t “know” enough? OK.
But check this out motherfuckers: I cannot steal what belongs to me.
Dear Sweetheart Aiwuyor claims that the: “#ADOS movement hijacks legacies and identities.” This is among her worst arguments. For us Pure Reparationists that are descendants of American slaves, as was Queen Mother Audley Moore, as was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and so on. Their identity is our identity. One cannot steal what already belongs to them nor does anyone in and from that group require permission from anyone to express what that identity means to them.
Furthermore, no one can dictate how any group chooses to build upon or not build upon legacies that are theirs. The Freedmen collective is as free to build upon the work of Malcolm X, Queen Mother Moore, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as any other person who descends from those Black people that were enslaved here in this America. OK? Who the fuck is Aiwuyor or anyone else to assume they own the authority to dictate to us Freedmen how we choose to assess, embrace, and build upon the legacies of our ancestors? By what arrogant right does Aiwuyor, the Twitter account of N’COBRA, or any other hastily constructed concoction such as the “National Black Cultural Information Trust” (NBCI Trust) possess the authority to do so? Well – they have NO authority over me.
Do the Pan-African leanings of the aforementioned leaders somehow diminish the fact that they were clear about the specificity of the American Freedmen justice claim concerning reparations? I can confidently assert that two truths can be held at once. We can have a sense of global Black solidarity and even an affinity for reclaiming a severed African heritage, along with a clear knowledge that there is a need for a distinct Native Black American justice claim. Despite these critical attempts, no “smoking gun” has been found. Nothing “hidden” to “find.”
Keep Looking Motherfuckers.
Now, it is laughable (go ahead – laugh) to say that Dr. King is being taken out of context, when the co-founder of the #ADOS political project, Yvette Carnell, led an October 24, 2019 YouTube book club broadcast utilizing Dr. King’s work. So, what is this removed out of “context” – What? I find it interesting that there remain critics saying that a group of politically motivated Americans and their allies whom have immersed themselves in this work are now “cherry-picking.”
OK. If that is what you want to call it.
So Let Us Get on the Subject of “Cherry-Picking”
The American reparations organization that was founded by Queen Mother Moore was named: “Committee for Reparations for Descendants of U.S. Slaves.” Simply reiterated, Queen Mother Moore is a Native Black American (born 1898 in New Iberia, Louisiana) – her grandmother, Nora Henry, had been enslaved at birth, the daughter of an enslaved Black woman who was raped by her white master. Sounds Native Black American to me. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is an American Freedman. Dr. King’s father – Reverend Michael King Sr. was born to sharecroppers James Albert and Delia King of Stockbridge, Georgia. “Cherry-picking?”
Sounds Native Black American to me.
So those legacies are ours. American Freedmen cannot “hijack” what is of us. Those of us who advocate and agitate in the dozens and growing number of American cities where we have Reparationist chapters are of and in the Black community.
More bullshit: Some motherfuckers say that: “#ADOS leaders seek to take credit for all current reparations discussions, including the ‘1619 Project’ created by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and the June 2019 House hearing on HR40 during which Ta-Nehisi Coates and Danny Glover testified.” OK. Now – as has been shown by fellow reparations advocates, we do not understand how our political struggle takes credit for articles with the authors’ name published in the byline.
So bullshitters, absorb this: Articles are not movements.
The literary talents of Coates and Hannah-Jones are not questioned, but neither are they leaders of political movements, nor are they spearheading efforts to call and meet with United States congresspeople or legislators on the state and local levels. The #ADOS political project was a national movement that has inspired many to actual national political engagement. Inspired national political seriousness.
I have bemusedly observed the “aha” moment New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones had as she recognized the suitability of the specific American claim that Freedmen demands, without acknowledging the efforts of the #ADOS political project because of disdain for Yvette Carnell and Antonio Moore, and the social media tactics of the pre-schism #ADOS project. Alright Fine…
In these last few years, the Reparationist movement has generated a willingness to bring reparations into the national discourse, and I assert that credit should be given where it is due. This has to be said. Pan-African niggers are always on that “credit” shit. You know? Goodness. Who “credits” the “credit?” OK?
If we are coming out of that bag. We had dozens of #ADOS chapter representatives present at that hearing, although only eleven #ADOS members were allowed into the main chamber (more Reparationist folks could have came in, but those seats were strangely taken up by no-deodorant-wearing members of CARICOM) despite all of our members being the first in line to enter the hearing hall before 7:00 am.
I strongly resist, and shall remain vigilant, to the efforts of erasure from those who benefit from our disappearance, whether they be Black America’s native Boule, Black coons in American and international “mainstream media,” elite Black and non-Black immigrants, DACA, Latinos, Pan-Africans, or an apparently bought and paid for Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). There. So, let us not confuse these issues. The confusion does America and all Americans a spectacular disservice.
Then, we have others. Whether they be establishment leaders of the Democratic Party, Democratic Socialists, and those that are even farther politically left and more concerned with class over race; Pan-Africanists who focus asymmetric attention towards the African Diaspora over the afflicted Native Black American population which is careening toward socioeconomic catastrophe and inability to afford to live in American cities; “small government” conservatives who remain in a durable denial over the centuries of atrocities that brought us to this place in American history, laissez-faire libertarians, or those politically adjacent to them or any other critics, cannot be the arbiters of what Black Americans, descendants of American chattel slavery, “need” or “deserve.” That is not their place.
Especially as critics choose to operate on their own fucked-up perceptions and biases, and not material data. Many people in America, most whites and even a lot of Black people and other people of color, see politicians, some entertainers, “reality stars,” and athletes in modern media and it allows them to delusionally assume everything is equitable and okay. And shit is not okay.
It is a curious charge by some to claim that the #ADOS political project is some kind of “Trojan Horse” when it was open, clear, and intentional about its goals.
The #ADOS political project had been criticized by some of its more vocal attackers as a group of arrogant neophytes, a collection of political dilettantes behaving as if we invented reparations advocacy. That’s a lie, of course, nor can anyone show proof that has ever been our claim. We can claim that the #ADOS political project was the latest historic development in reparations philosophy and activism. That is a fact.
We can claim that because that is demonstrably true. Evidence. I would like an explanation as to how any individual or group can “hijack” the formulation and execution of possible solutions to problems that are one’s own? Crazy. The only time that something can’t be “hijacked” is if the one thing being “hijacked” owns what is being “hijacked.” So then: how does NAARC and N’COBRA claim that they own the issue of Native Black American reparations?
If they do – please show me the papers.
I am appreciating the fact that all of you have remained with me so far. Stay strong. It is time to move on to Part V.